Three African men have been sentenced to between 15 and 18 years in prison each for scamming Vietnamese women and pocketing a fortune from their victims.
The People’s Court in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on Thursday opened the trial of Ifeanyi Mathhew Anthony, 29, Nguyen Hang Tcheuko Minh, 36, and Mothe De Fouda Paul Martial, 30.
Anthony, a Nigerian national, and Martial, who is from Cameroon, received 18 years and 15 years in prison, respectively, for “fraud and appropriation of property.”
Minh, who hailed from Cameroon and has been granted Vietnamese citizenship to play for local football clubs, was jailed for 16 years for the same crime.
According to the indictment, the three defendants are acquaintances who live and work in Ho Chi Minh City.
In December 2017, Anthony learned of an illegal ring that scammed Vietnamese women via Facebook and introduced it to Minh and Martial.
As part of their scheme, the ring members posed as wealthy foreign men who live overseas and flirted with their victims online before offering to send them valuable gifts.
In order to receive the presents, the victims were told to pay a considerable amount of money, which the scammers claimed was for “customs clearance.”
In a different scheme, the scammers said they could turn paper into money with a special chemical and asked the women to give them money to purchase the ingredient.
Police investigation showed that the three men had collectively appropriated more than VND1.6 billion ($69,000) from the victims.
At the trial, Minh admitted his wrongdoing, while Anthony and Martial said they were just following the directions of a man named Papa.
However, the court stated it had sufficient evidence against the three men to find them guilty of the charges.
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